Staff Picks: Andrew’s Top 5
Our staff picks bring you into the minds of our staff and DJs: top picks of the moment, both musically and non-musically!
These picks come from Andrew Robbins, DJ of Russian Roulette.
1. Who else is as excited as I am about the two new Vampire Weekend tracks? Everybody? OK, good. It’s been a long three years since Contra came out and I’m loving the new, fuller sound that Ezra and the boys are bringing to the table. If you haven’t already, check out the videos for “Step” and “Diane Young” below. Modern Vampires of the City is out May 14th on XL Recordings.
2. As a native Coloradan I strongly believe that there is no better setting for a live show on the planet than Red Rocks. If you have never been there add it to your bucket list. You won’t be sorry. Mumford & Sons’ concert film The Road to Red Rocks captures the essence of what seeing a show at Red Rocks is all about. The energy, the sound, the people…there’s truly nothing like it. It also chronicles their “Gentlemen of the Road Tour” from 2012 which looked awesome. They’re doing it again this summer so check their website to see if its coming to your town. Anyway, turn the dial up to 11 when you watch this.
3. Palma Violets are the latest garage rock band out of London to ride the wave over to the states. “Best Friend” is the single from their recently released album 180 and I don’t have much to say about it besides it rocks. The English press has had a love affair with these guys over the past couple of months and lots of people over here say they’re “over-hyped”. I respectfully disagree. As Pitchfork puts it “180 is an appropriately modest yet likeable effort for an underdog act–bigger on heart than brains”. I can’t wait to see what these guys pull out of their heart for their sophomore effort. 180 is out now on Rough Trade Records.
4. The Screaming Eagle of Soul himself, Charles Bradley just released his sophomore LP Victim of Love and let me tell you folks, it doesn’t get much better than this. The Menahan Street Band is back behind him this time and the two forces combined create something totally unique for this side of the millennium. Charles has a way of singing that is rarely seen these days. You feel each and every emotion just as he does when he belts out his lines and you know he’s loving every minute of it. If you have never heard of this guy he has an incredible story. Check out his documentary Soul of America and be amazed and inspired. Victim of Love is out now on Daptone Records. Also check out the Menahans’ recently released LP The Crossing also on Daptone.
5. Aquarium Drunkard is hands down my favorite blog in the blogosphere. Justin Gage is at the helm, providing links and recommendations to some of the best contemporary sounds with vintage garage, psych, folk, country, soul, funk, R&B, and pretty much everything else you can think of. Be warned, when you visit this site you will find things that you never even knew that you liked.